Browsing articles in "Simplicity"
Aug 15, 2012
Kenneth Verlage

Where love starts

 

Lovability is the future. Usability failes because it forgets our feelings. If people doesn’t love your stuff, you’re out.

But what brings love?

After my last post on the topic, many suggested the simplicity of Apps. Sure, Apps are pointing in the way of the future, they are simple to use (because they ARE simple), they dont ruin the performance of the hardware, they are more and more interconnected – sharing logins and data and they are fairly priced. And THAT is the future of IT. A swarm of services (services because local apps are just a workaround for bad connectivity) that interconnects, that shares data, functions and logins. Like Twitter share with Klout or Google share between its applications. This is all still quite simple, but will soon be getting more and more complex – and this is important – behind the scenes. The complexity will not clutter the user experience, rather enhance it. And that is spot on, because we dont want simple – we want simple to use. And there is a HUGE difference.

Imagine a simple car. Steering wheel, three pedals and a stick. Thats it. Nothing more. Now imagine a luxury sedan, like a Mercedes or a Cadillac. Stuffed with electronics, luxury, safety details and you name it. But still it got the steering wheel, pedals and a stick (be it automatic). The basics are the same, and driving is all the same. None of the extras gets in the way of the driving. Its only there to help, to make the experience better or safer. If you want to drive, just go. You know how, in any car. And when we buy cars we dont chose “simple” but rather charming, sporty, practical or whatever makes us tick. But simple to use is a given. In all cars.

Compare that to the average corporate computersystem where you are looking at the controls of a Boeing 747. Buttons everywere, controils all over the place. No way can you find the few relevant knobs for the task at hand.

So go for Simple to use, but not Simple.

That is the future of IT-systems.

And that’s where love starts.

 

Aug 6, 2012
Kenneth Verlage

If people doesn’t love what you do, you have failed!

My summerhouse is a waterfront cottage built on the grounds of my grandfathers old farmland. Situated at the north shore of one of the big Swedish lakes, the last Ice Age left this particular shore scattered with rocks and stones. Boating on the lake is great, but you need to be a native to find your way. A newbie wont survive a minute without hitting a rock.

I grew up navigating those waters, I am a native and so i have no trouble finding my way. But even i have hit hard when i was young and even I need to stick to the known routes. Creativity in steering or spontaneous navigation lead to certain trouble and sinking boats.

SO why have all of this planets corporate IT-systems taken their inspiration from this particular piece of nature, this very beautiful but dangerous Swedish bay?

WHY are all of this planets corporate IT-systems impossible to navigate and impossible to figure out? If you dont happen to be a native?

Surely there is no Ice Age to blame for littering the code? Surely the engineers that build the systems wants them to be used – i mean we all think about usability, right?

I dont believe that engineers in general are lousy designers – but i do think that having worked 1000′s of hours with the code of a system you know it so well that you can navigate any front with ease. And with your screen off. You are a native, and as a native you easily gets blind for complexity. Things that seems natural and easy for you comes across as totally impossible to understand and use for your customers. SAP, anyone?

There is also the abundance in IT – a button costs nothing to install. More colors? Cool – its also free! And so we start stuffing the programs with functions that MIGHT be useful, someday for someone. And until then only confusing for everyone.

This needs to stop right now and I hereby put a ban on bad design.

We need to design our systems from the users point of view. Only.

Dump Usability and introduce Lovability.

And do it today.

If people doesn’t love what you do, you have failed!